Six School Law and Labor Law Attorneys Join Bond’s Buffalo and Rochester Offices

March 4, 2024

(Buffalo & Rochester, NY): Bond, Schoeneck & King is pleased to announce that six highly accomplished school law and labor law attorneys will join Bond’s Buffalo and Rochester offices. The attorneys, formerly with Harris Beach PLLC, bring many years of cumulative experience and successful representation in school law and labor and employment law and will add to Bond’s robust teams in these areas. In addition, the attorneys bring experience in special education law, litigation, workplace policies and personnel issues and state and federal labor and employment law.

Brian Butler, chair of Bond’s management committee, commented: “The addition of these attorneys will add to our continued growth and success in education and labor law. Bond is a highly recognized firm in these practices, and we look forward to expanding our reach and strengthening our client relationships even further in these areas.”

Bond’s School Law practice co-chairs, Candace Gomez and Kate Reid, are delighted to continue the growth of the School Law practice group in the Western New York region.

Joining the firm are the following attorneys:

Tracie L. Lopardi (Buffalo) concentrates her practice on the representation of employers in all aspects of employment and labor law.  This includes her counsel and advice on policies, practices and employment relationships involving negotiating and implementing collective bargaining agreements, wage and hour laws, disability accommodations, leaves of absence and disciplinary actions.  She also advocates for and defends employers in arbitrations and proceedings before the State Division of Human Rights, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Public Employment Relations Board (PERB), as well as state and federal Departments of Labor and Education.  Lopardi also has substantial experience representing public and private school districts across New York State.  As a trusted advisor, she advises education institutions of all sizes on strategic or organization-wide issues.  She regularly conducts workplace investigations for employers regarding alleged employee misconduct.  Prior to joining Bond, Lopardi established the Office of General Counsel at Niagara University. With this experience, she also provides counsel to higher education institutions on numerous matters including labor and employment, records management, Title IX and student athletics.  Lopardi has also been named one of the Legal Elite of Western New York by Buffalo Business First since 2012 and a New York Super Lawyer, Excellence in Labor and Employment. She received her J.D. magna cum laude from Syracuse University College of Law and her undergraduate degree from the State University of New York at Geneseo.

Anne M. McGinnis, Ph.D. (Rochester) represents public, private and charter schools as well as boards of cooperative educational services (BOCES) clients and employers across New York State with a focus on special education, general education and labor and employment issues. She represents schools on matters such as special education due process hearings and appeals, Commissioner of Education appeals, Committee on Special Education (CSE) and 504 meetings and student discipline hearings. McGinnis also focuses on training school staff and personnel on developing individualized education programs (IEPs), Section 504 Plans, functional behavioral assessments (FBAs), behavioral intervention plans (BIPs) and chairing CSE meetings. She also counsels employers on various labor and employment issues and conducts workplace investigations. She was a school psychologist at a Nassau County public school district prior to becoming an attorney. She is a licensed psychologist in New York, a certified school psychologist in New York and Connecticut and a certified music teacher in Connecticut. McGinnis earned her J.D. at St. John’s University School of Law, her Ph.D. and M.Ed. from Pennsylvania State University and graduated summa cum laude with her B.Mus. and B.A. degrees from University of Hartford.

Laura M. Purcell (Rochester) counsels her clients with advice on all facets of school district operations. These include school board governance, labor relations, collective bargaining, personnel issues, student matters, residency and annual budget vote issues. She also advocates for school districts in appeals to the Commissioner of Education, proceedings before the State Division of Human Rights and EEOC, PERB proceedings and in other litigated matters in federal and state court.  Purcell also counsels private sector clients in all aspects of employment law. Laura has been named in Best Lawyers, Education Law and Employment Law – Management since 2007. She received her J.D. from the University of Minnesota and her undergraduate degree from Bradley University.

Sara E. Visingard (Rochester) focuses her practice on employers in private and public sectors in all areas of labor and employment law. These include workplace investigations, wage and hour issues, anti-discrimination laws, at both the federal and state levels, the Family and Medical Leave Act and other leave laws, disability accommodation matters, issues involving employee discipline and the federal and state Fair Credit Reporting Acts. Visingard also assists employers with employee handbook and policy needs, including development and revision of policies and materials.  Her work includes the defense of clients against complaints, charges and appeals brought to federal and state agencies including the State Division of Human Rights, the EEOC, the Departments of Labor, the Commissioner of Education and the PERB. In addition to her focus on labor and employment law, she represents and counsels school districts, boards of cooperative educational services and other educational institutions on issues including student matters, board of education needs and operational issues. Visingard is a seasoned presenter of seminars and webinars and provides her clients training sessions on student, Board of Education, operations and employment-related issues. She earned her J.D. from Syracuse University College of Law and her B.A. from Nazareth University. She was also awarded the Outstanding Alumni award from Nazareth University in 2023.

Jeffrey J. Weiss (Buffalo) counsels his school district clients on special education matters, including appeals to the Office of State Review, impartial due process hearings and state and federal court actions. He also works with them on their responsibilities and duties involving Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and under the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA). Weiss is regularly invited to school districts, BOCES centers and organizations throughout the western and southern New York regions to present on these topics and other relevant special education law topics. He frequently presents at programs for the New York State School Boards Association, New York State Bar Association and the Erie County Association of School Boards. Weiss received his J.D. at the University at Buffalo School of Law and his undergraduate degree from the State University of New York at Binghamton. 

Andrew R. Mark (Buffalo) is a labor and employment attorney focusing on the representation of school districts in special education, general education and labor and employment matters.  Prior to joining Bond, Mark represented municipalities and school districts as bond counsel. During his time in law school, Mark served as a law clerk in the housing unit of Neighborhood Legal Services in Buffalo where he assisted low-income tenants facing eviction. He also has a New York State Professional Teaching Certification in music. Before becoming an attorney, he was the director of elementary, middle and high school bands for 10 years at a Buffalo charter school. He earned his B.M. from Nazareth University, M.M. from the State University of New York at Fredonia and his J.D. summa cum laude from the University at Buffalo School of Law.  

Bond, Schoeneck & King PLLC is an Am Law 200 law firm with more than 300 lawyers serving individuals, companies, nonprofits and public sector entities in a broad range of practice areas.